Just 20 minutes from Downtown Savannah, Tybee Island has long been a haven for beach-going Savannahians. But lately the island has become a hotspot for vacationers, who have discovered that the 5-mile beach and its surrounding town are equal parts laid back and lively. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or a good time, everything on Tybee is casual, from the eateries and bars to the shops and hotels. So pack your flip-flops and get ready to enjoy what the locals call “Tybee Time.”
See & Do
Tybee Island’s biggest attraction is its five-mile beach. Many portions of the beach allow public access, including the quiet North Beach area and the busier South Beach area, which is home to the Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion. If you’re rained out or just looking for a change of pace, check out the sea life at the Tybee Marine Science Center and the iconic lighthouse at the Tybee Island Light Station.
Tybee Island has enough great restaurants to fill up an entire week’s vacation and then some. From oceanfront eateries like the Caribbean-influenced North Beach Bar & Grill to the outstanding lunch and dinner spot Sundae Cafe, Tybee boasts a number of casual restaurants that will please even the most particular foodies. Because the island is situated on the Atlantic Ocean, seafood is plentiful. For some of the best steamed seafood in town, head to the Crab Shack, a waterside restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. If you’re hungry, try the Half & Half, a heaping platter with half a pound of snow crab and half a pound of shrimp.
There’s plenty to do on Tybee Island after the sun goes down. The island has a few dedicated bars, but most of the after-hours fun can be found at bar restaurants like the Tybee Island Social Club. To hang with locals and enjoy killer pizza and a great selection of bottled beer, head to Huc-a-Poos. The bar is open late and often features live music from local and regional bands.
Tybee is an unpretentious island, so it’s no wonder that there are no glitzy, big-name hotels. Tybee’s oceanfront hotels are as casual and laid back as the island itself. From the historic DeSoto Beach Hotel to the full-service Hotel Tybee, visitors to Tybee have many options that give them direct access to the beach. If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, check out the Tybee Island Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast just one block from the beach.
There’s no need to head into Savannah to pick up a new bathing suit or beach toys. Tybee Island has plenty of stores that sell necessary beach items such as sunscreen and rafts. Tybee also boasts a number of eclectic stores and galleries that offer one-of-a-kind finds. Make time to visit Gallery by the Sea, a unique shop that features eye-catching artwork, gifts, children’s toys, clothing and more.